easyJet has driven its leading customer and digital proposition through constant innovation and by listening to its passengers, focusing on market demand and offering value.
Performance for the year has been encouraging with continued growth in business passenger numbers, and further investment in how we reach and interact with our corporate customers. We have continued to target business passengers, growing the number of passengers by 6% to 12.5 million, with September 2016 a record month for easyJet. We also signed 137 corporate agreements over the year, representing a 25% increase against last year, serving to demonstrate the significant growth potential for business passengers. There has also been a growth in business-specific fares throughout the year with a 14% increase in Flexi fares, which carry a greater yield premium.
Our combination of using primary airports in large economic markets, alongside high frequencies and attractive flight timings, makes easyJet a logical choice for business passengers. We are focused on providing a bespoke business offering through distribution platforms, Travel Management Companies and direct to small and medium-sized enterprises.
Growth in Global Distribution Systems (GDS) volume continued to drive revenue and channel movement from web bookings to GDS within the travel management company partners. The recent negotiations across our GDS partners extended our agreements with Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport for an additional term. Developments across our Self-Booking Tool partners have seen a 16% increase in bookings due to the lower fees applicable and customised set-up for our corporate accounts.
easyJet has recently won Business Traveller Magazine's “Best Low Cost Carrier” for the 14th successive year. easyJet continues to see opportunities to sell its business product across Europe and we continue to strengthen our corporate sales capability through a new market, customer and industry structure.
New revenue streams
Non-seat revenue has performed strongly, increasing by 17%, offsetting pressure on ticket yields from the external environment.
easyJet has a programme to develop new revenue streams as well as enhancing existing revenue streams, leveraging its attributes of a primary airport-focused network, cost focus and track record of innovation. We are exploring new distribution channels, partner agreements and structures such as connectivity with other suitable airlines. Recent examples have been:
- Earlier Flight - a mobile app-only proposition, targeting customers who may wish to switch flights at short notice on the day of travel. This flexibility is offered to customers for just £15 and capitalises on the scale of our mobile app use when customers are on the move.
- In-flight - our investment continues to pay off with revenue growth of over 30% in the last 12 months. This year saw the introduction of pre-purchased in-flight vouchers, scaled through our targeted CRM programme.